The swan song of summer comes early this year, as we see trees losing leaves, and many garden flowers long peaked. Yet much remains to enjoy. Blueberries and raspberries are ripe, ferns and purple loosestrife decorate the landscape, and bats still populate the night air. From ripe sumac berries at the Cox and Seine Field Reservations, you can make “sumacade,” which tastes like pink lemonade.
A dusk canoe ride on the Ipswich River is likely to yield sights of migrating nighthawks. The groundswell of fall bird migration also includes buttery yellow yellow warblers at Ordway and Tompson Street Reservations, brilliant blue and green tree swallows at Sawyer's Island and Carter Fields Reservation, and rails, bitterns and glossy ibis at the Parker River and the Rowley Marshes.
But the little goldfinches are building nests here at the Cox Reservation, thanks to the abundance of thistle seed.